YOUTH IN ACTIVISM: THE CAMP
Youth Experiential Learning Program that blends
activism with non-formal education.
YOUth in ACTivism: The camp consisted of 3 main activities: Online Preparatory Meeting, Youth Exchange, and a Follow-up Period with local actions in each partner country.
The idea behind this project was to bring together LGBTQIA+ and allies youth, in a shared safe and brave space, where they could explore and experience different forms of activism, starting from the form of community building.
35 young people from Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovenia, came together to create the “activists camp” of their dreams, learning from each other, exchanging experiences and knowledge while having fun and building their camp community.
In their small teams, the group seized the opportunity to work on different topics about the LGBTQIA+ community and discover digital activism in an interactive way. They got to produce videos, a photo project, a research and a podcast.
Follow the link to Resources to find the videos.
Camp Zine Outcome
One of the forms of activism explored during the project was related to artivism. Specifically, the group discovered the power of zine-making, where they created a collective zine, self-expressing themselves and contributing to the experience.
Follow the link to Publications to find out more.
Interviews with participants
Some of the participants of the camp have shared their insights, and takeaways from their experience in the project. In the two videos they talk about their magical moments, what community building means to them and more.
Check above to watch the two videos.
The Advanced Planning Visit, due to the covid-19 pandemic, took place online in two different dates during August 2021.
The group leaders of the project met first all together in the Online Preparatory Meeting on 9th of August 2021. During this meeting, they kicked off the main activities of the project, bonding with each other, preparing for the activities of the Youth Exchange, sharing of new ideas and their enthusiasm about their teams and the project happening after the pandemic and the physical distancing that had a significant impact on the LGBTQIA+ communities.
Participants together with group leaders met on 19.08 for the Online Group Meeting where they were able to connect, prepare themselves for the Youth Exchange and clarify practicals questions about their travel, the venue, the daily program, the learning approach and more.
The online meetings were a catalyst of empowerment and of excitement for our young activists who began building their camp community and learning from each other.
YOUth in ACTivism: The Camp Exchange took place in Ommen, the Netherlands between 25th of August and 5th of September 2022.
35 individuals from the 7 participating countries of the project met together, in order to experience a 12 days of a dynamic skills-based program and focus on exploring activism within the LGBTQIA+ community.
During the program, the inspiring Activists:
Got to create their own community within a safe and brave space, bonding with each other and nurturing peer learning
Experienced different non-formal learning methods – fostering theirs and each other’s learning, and competencies
Met with Dutch LGBTQIA+ activists through the Drag workshop by ChelseaBody from the Drag Race Holland and the Embodiment workshop from the LGBT Youth Performance Initiative Amsterdam
Explored digital activism, producing videos, podcast, phot-project and a research presentation on different topics of their interest, about the LGBTQIA+ community
Went on bike trip, hiked for pride, camped outside and discovered the Overijssel province of the Netherlands with its beautiful landscapes and intercultural aspects
Organized and performed Street Actions in the city of Zwolle, raising awareness about the LGBTQIA+ Spectrum.
I am definitely coming back!
This was my first experience with Erasmus + projects and I got very lucky, that my first project was YiA. The day before departure from Rīga I was so nervous, I considered not getting on the plane, but now looking back I feel very shameful because this experience was one of the most life-changing ones for me. During these two weeks, I met so many inspiring people, that have changed the way how I perceive things. I was so lucky to experience a loving, heart-warming, and open environment, where I could easily open up to so many new people.
During the camp I got to experience the Netherlands from so many new perspectives – we went hiking, biking, and walked around the city a lot. I fell in love with the Netherlands and I am definitely coming back as soon as I can! After the camp I still keep in touch with many of the participants – they have become like family to me and I discovered ‘’Active Rainbow’’, in which I participate currently.
Vika | Latvia
It was a life-changing experience!
Being in Ommen surrounded by nature and an amazing community was the best experience we could have asked for. It was life-changing to experience firsthand such a strong bond and share so many things. I feel like each and every one of us learned so much about both ourselves, activism, and the LGBT+ community in general, it was the most complete and enriched exchange possible. Having some me-time where we could refocus and take some care of ourselves was also super important and something I’m very grateful for.
Ema | Portugal
That's how I want to live!
Apart from the positives of an Erasmus+ programme, this program differed because it caused you a sense of security. At this place, you can be yourself. This was revolutionary: you could be whoever you wanted. You didn’t need to know who you are, where you belong to even to be sure who you want to be. The important thing was to want to spread this feeling of love and security everywhere so that everyone could be themselves. The days were full and they passed quickly. At the same time, they felt like months.
One participant said to me, ”You know? that’s how I want to live.! To make the days feel like years of experience. Sometimes you are at your house, in your routine and the days, months, years go by and you don’t remember what you did.”
Tina | Greece
It was a wonderful experience, full of joy and color!
All the activities carried out have allowed us to increase our knowledge and face new challenges: breaking down language barriers; getting in touch with nature; managing spaces and times independently and in collaboration with the other participants. At the same time, the camp activities gave us the opportunity to develop greater awareness: listening to the stories of realities as similar as different from the Italian one awakened a further responsibility in us. Each of us will always carry with us the hugs and the unconditional support that accompanied us until the last few moments before leaving our new home and returning to what we formerly thought was our only roof.
Taking to the streets and working daily for our causes can be exhausting, even more so if the results are visible only in the long term. We should always remember that before being activists we are human beings and, as such, we need a system of mutual support, a feeling of closeness and belonging that can shorten the distance and connect us in different parts of the world, a mutual encouragement that can give us the strength to fight together for our rights.
YOUthInACTivism: The Camp was, therefore, a starting point, an exciting push, and an incomparable inspiration to do more and more for our community, wherever it is located.
The project was organized in 2021 together with Olde Vechte Foundation and it was funded by Erasmus+ program and the Erasmusplus Jeugd.
Partners: Bilitis Foundation (Bulgaria), Cassero LGBTI+ Center (Italy), Roes Cooperativa (Greece), Collippo (Portugal), Drustvo DIH (Slovenia).
Disclaimer: The information and views set out in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.